9 Mar 2013

Brain implant being tested for anorexia cases

10:00 am on 9 March 2013

A device which could help people overcome the eating disorder anorexia nervosa is being tested in Canada.

People with this condition have a distorted image of their own bodies and resort to drastically restricting what they eat - sometimes fatally.

Neurosurgeon Dr Nir Lipsman Toronto Western Hospital said implanting an electrical device similar to a pacemaker deep into the patient's brain may help.

Dr Lipsman said similar deep brain stimulation has previously been used for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients.

According to research published in The Lancet medical journal, a neurosurgical implant has been safely used in six patients with severe and enduring anorexia.

Deep brain stimulation has previously been used for people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.